Independent learning forms an extremely important part of our vision and philosophy. Our students are encouraged where possible to seek solutions, answers and deepen learning through their own resourcefulness and curiosity. Moreover, they should continually question thier knowledge and understanding to discover further and challenge their higher order thinking skills.
Independent study is our preferred name for homework. It is an extension of the learning in the classroom, designed to consolidate and challenge. All students will receive regular Independent Study across the range of subjects.
We have an extensive range of IT resources located across the school alongside our BYOD approach to online learning and a well-resourced library.
The Library is situated on the ground floor of the Grange Building and is regarded by many as the heart of the school, the natural home for individual and independent learning. It is open from 8.15am to 3.30pm during term time and is staffed by one Librarian. Years 7-11 have one period a fortnight in the library as part of English lessons to encourage and widen reading choices and improve literacy skills.
Year 12 & 13 are expected to use the resources in the library for their independent study.
A wide variety of titles are available for loan from a stock of over 7000 Fiction and Non-Fiction books and there is also a Reference section. Seven networked computers are available for students to use. The Library uses ‘Eclipse.Net’ – an online catalogue enabling students access from anywhere in the school.
Thanks to generous funding from the Parents and Friends Association the school takes part in Bookbuzz, a reading initiative from Booktrust aimed at year 7 to encourage reading for pleasure. Year 7 also take part in Readathon and have raised considerable amounts of money for the Roald Dahl Foundation and CLIC Sargent charities.
Book groups are run throughout the year for students in years 7 – 10 and encourage wider, varied reading. Books are selected from different authors and genres with Y9 students following the prestigious Carnegie shortlist. Pupils are encouraged to discuss their opinions on all aspects of the books including characters, language, plot, style of writing, book covers, books into films etc. The groups are usually full of lively debate and strong opinions with students often joining again in the following year group.
The Library holds events throughout the year and recent ones have included; Harry Potter Day, ‘Comic Capers’ on World Book Day and The Extreme Reading Challenge.
Reading for pleasure
How do we define ‘reading for pleasure’?
‘Reading for pleasure refers to reading that we do of our own free will anticipating the satisfaction that we will get from the act of reading. It also refers to reading that having begun at someone else’s request we continue because we are interested in it. It typically involves materials that reflect our own choice, at a time and place that suits us.’ (National Literacy Trust, 2006)
Reading for pleasure improves results
A recent report by the Institute of Education (September 2013) has found that children who read for pleasure made more progress in maths, vocabulary and spelling between the ages of 10 and 16 than those who rarely read.
For further information please see the article on the Reading Zone website
For the full report please click on the link ‘2013/10 Sullivan, A and Brown, M. (2013) Social inequalities in cognitive scores at age 16 : The role of reading. CLS Working Paper 2013/10. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.’
Many factors can influence reading habits. If you are interested in reading further on the subject please see the report by the NLT. For help with book choices and for up to date reviews/articles please try one of the website links under the library heading.
National Literacy Trust 2006 http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0000/0562/Reading_pleasure_2006.pdf